There was a time in the not to distant past when serious computing security threats were perceived to be exclusive to the world of Personal Computers (PCs) and Microsoft's Windows Operating System. Microsoft worked incredibly hard to neutralize that stigma, even if not completely removed. The reality, though, is that no technological giant is entirely immune from the impact of security attacks. Apple’s iOS is now, it seems, the focal point of security vulnerabilities exploitation.
The Nature of the iOS Security Attack
The attack is so serious that Apple has today released an urgent request to all its business and individual consumers to update their versions of iOS to fix three perilous, zero-day vulnerabilities that allows attackers to spy on victims. The iOS security vulnerabilities, christened Trident, were discovered by researchers at the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and mobile security firm Lookout. When misused, the three vulnerabilities enabled an attack chain that sabotages even Apple’s proudly robust security, empowering attackers to spy on victims by amassing information from apps including Gmail, Facebook, Skype, WhatsApp, Calendar, FaceTime, Line, Mail Ru and many others.
How Does This Affect You?
According to researchers, Trident exploitation of iOS security vulnerabilities originates using a concoction of the most sophisticated spyware mobile software called Pegasus. In layman’s terms, Pegasus charge starts with a SMS text attack using hoaxed sender numbers and anonymous domains to deliver malware to the target’s Apple mobile device. Pegasus spyware is extremely refined and modular to allow for customization, and is exceptionally good at avoiding detection. Moreover, the malware needs very little user interaction to savagely invade your privacy on an iOS device.
Pegasus, according to Security Affairs, is used by some government agencies to exploit security vulnerabilities in business and consumer software to help law enforcement and spies. Pegasus can help monitor smartphones of people targeted by government agencies too, according to the Wall Street Journal. The picture becomes more bleak if such technology gets into the hands of harden cyber-criminals. So you need to update your iOS devices with any security patches release by Apple as a matter of extreme urgency.
In today’s world where we depend heavily on a combination of features only available on mobile such as constant wireless connection, voice communications, camera, email, messaging, GPS, passwords and contact lists, the motivation for exploiting security vulnerabilities will continue to rise. Non-Apple users must not become complacent either. Google, Microsoft, and Blackberry mobile users should have concerns too. Everyone needs to become security vigilant where his/her mobile devices are concerned. Be sure to always look out for and apply security patches on a regular basis to increase protection of your personal data on your mobile devices.
Sources and Related Stories
Even with Apple's almost limitless spending power. The firm still faces incredible difficult challenges regarding security vulnerabilities. The latest Trident attack on iOS is like to be one of many the computing giant will have to fend off.
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